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tv   The Stream  Al Jazeera  December 9, 2013 3:30am-4:01am EST

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it's that moment in 1936 that shined in the life of jesse owens. >> you can keep up to date with all the news on the website. it's a good read. that's the home page. featuring demonstrations in soon kids around california will be able to erase their online indiscretions. what about the rest of us? ♪ >> our digital producer wag is here to bring in your questions and comments live throughout the show. if you could hit digital delete on your digital path. >> my entire pubertiy from 1993 to now.
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but some how it got me this job, so no. but niles on twitter makes a great comment. he goes, nothing is sacred on the internet. we should assume that anything we post is out there for the world to see, even with privacy settings. aina said this should be available to all people. not just minors. and again 20 out of 23 kids in the class said they felt scared by social media. >> that may not be such a bad thing. it candidates there i indicates bad things are out there. it is going to be an option in 1919. the eraser law allows miners to remove content or information. other states are considering similar bills. and in the u.s. senate ed markey
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has reintroduced his federal legislation called "the do not track kids" act. not everyone is on board. critics say while the purpose of the law is ai is is admirable. but it's not the right approach. it's collecting more data on children just to comply. how will this delete button help kids, and should adults be allowed to erase their online indiscretions as well? >> we are go to amber where she specializes in technology policy. and emma, director of the free expression project. and joy spencer joins us from the digital center for democracy. and katie is assistant edit of slate who has been critical of eraser laws. meg, explain the thought process
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behind laws like the one we just saw get signed in california. why are these types of laws being proposed? >> things that we are seeing, a general fear, of this permanent record, we're all creating these permanent records, and for adults that starts at an age where there is a level of understanding of how this content is going to be understood and accepted. but a large percent, i think 90% of two-year-olds has an online presence. now we're seeing permanent records starting at a very young age. obviously if they're two years old, it's their parents putting up the content, and it goes on throughout the life of the user. >> generally do you like the idea of what these laws are trying to do? >> i do. i think they're intended to protect the development of kids through this very vital identi identity--identity process that is natural, good for the
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psychology of children. and so in order to protect those mistakes, that wiggle room into not keep kids in this static state i think is a generally great thing. >> emma, is this window dressingish or do you think it's really going to work in terms of deleting what is intended to be deleted? >> i think it's really a challenge. these eraser button laws are all about the idea of taking down information that someone has posted publicly on the internet. while that is completely understandable interest, and i'm sure all of us have something posted online that we want to take down later on. because it's about taking public information back, it also raises the first amendment and free expression rights of other users. these laws end up having to be narrowly tailored. like the california law, not apply to somebody else's reposting of your own content. it's only going to ever be about what the user themselves have posted on their own account.
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and so while it may do something to give the user the ability to take that off their own account, it's not going to go very far in getting information off the web completely or off the company servers. >> we're getting a lot of good tweets. drew said kids don't think ahead. but minor mistakes are overblown when a witch-hunt begins against them . the mara said give something much access to information is scary. facebook has rights to user photos content as far as terms and conditions. katie i'll go to you with this. there is concern that this law will achieve the opposite of its intention. some companies say we'll have to dig in and get more information about kids, location, do you think it's necessary? >> um, well i'm not sure about that. i think the real problem that i foresee in this type of law is
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that you create this expectation of internet infallibility, so kids are growing up and until they turn 18 or whatever the cut-off age is, they believe that they can post whatever they want on the internet, and that's just not the climate they're going to be in as they become adults. i just think that it's setting a pretty dangerous precedent to give them that idea. >> joy, if it's deleted with these digital delete buttons, is it really deleted? joy? >> sorry, could you repeat the question? >> you hear digital delete and eraser law, but my question is, if you delete it is it really gone? >> no, it's still on the company's server but i think there is something important that is happening here, that it won't be available to the public. and the individual that post something that later--the teen
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or child that posted something that they later regret or consider to be inappropriate or don't want visible to the public will be able to take request of that content to be taken down. so it gives a little bit of control. understandably it's limited but it's an important incremental step in giving some control and power back to teens in this age where a lot of things are happening on the internet information being used for a lot of different reasons. you know, i personally think this is a positive step, incremental step. >> one of the push backs we're getting is potential censorship. amy said the government needs to allow online community to regulate itself. we've got a great video coming from tony. >> the eraser law will be a great thing for kids under 18 to remove content. they need to be cautious that the content put up by other people, copied or posted from
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their own content they can't remove. what we need to make sure is that kids don't become complacent and post things they shouldn't do. understand this is a restricted service and only applies to content they themselves post online. >> there is a battle between rights. some people say we have a right to privacy. but other people say once you put it out there, it's the wild, wild west. it belongs to the world. talk to us about first amendment concerns. >> the first amendment concerns are that people have a right to access this information. it's not just the public's right to access things that a 12-year-old has said, but editorial decisions that are made by the platforms are arguebly protected by the first amendment, how they organize comments around these posts by young people. the idea of editing history, that that is the way that a lot of critics have talked about the right to be forgotten. i think that if you see the
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internet as history--again, this is a game of analogy. a lot of team see the internet aas a cesspool. others see it as a shopping mall. actually this stuff falls off the web all the time tons of things get deleted. we have peep who delete facebook post, blogs, they get deleted all the time. i think we have to start saying what are the things that are valuable to preserve, and what are the things--that we can let go because of these other interests like childhood development. >> what would you delete from your digital past? we'll talk to one college student who wishes he had a digital eraser after being called out for inappropriate comments. ♪ >> on america tonight a remarkable breakthrough in the treatment of cancer.
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tough questions >> how do you explain it to yourself? and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5 eastern only on al jazeera america >> welcome back. we're talking about erasing your digital past. california just passed a law allowing kids under 18 to hit the delete button. so waj, we asked our community what they would like to deligh delete. >> our community is very suspicious. mime skeletons are hopefully buried deep. no reason to unearth them now. digital, i'm worried about the photos hiding in my trunks, albums in the mid 80s. kids these days don't "v" no ideas what photo albums are. and we got one answer p my "star trek" one
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-win loss record. >> i was trying to persuade us to give one. >> were you successful? >> no, she wouldn't do it. joining us is nick, a college freshman who found himself in hot water after a student on his campus hung a confederate flag, and he made online comments about it. i should mention those who are joining us tonight we use a variety of technologies to bring people in. sometimes the connections are not always perfect but it allows us to get people in this conversation that we normally wouldn't be able to have join us. nick, you said that you were attempting to be satirical, but you ended up offending a black student, cultural group on campus. was there a point when you were posting this stuff that you thought, hmm, this could be taken the wrong way, or were you surprised by how rapidly it spread? >> my initial intentions were just
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a troll. i had no idea the person who made this post was part of the cultural organization. if i did, i wouldn't have made the comments. it was a stupid joke made at the wrong place at the wrong time. i was merely offering a satirical observation on a touchy subject. it was simply a joke, which most people saw it, but it escalated and turned into something it shouldn't have. in retrospect al jazeera is the only positive thing that has come out of this. >> well, you know, that is the thing about tweets and texts and e-mails. it's hard to discern intention sometimes. this just happens. you have three more years of college. are you concerned that this information lingering online could potentially affect your
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ability to make a positive impression on a potential employer? >> i don'i don'ti don't--i don't will affect me. i know the eraser law in general, won what it's main intentions were because of an ink stream embarrassment that was made and people brought it to congress. but i feel from my personal story, it just happened to be the wrong place at the wrong time, and it escalated and then got to this point. it shouldn't have happened, but it has. for me its just a person situation. as for other peoplering they might be extreme posting pro fanty or stuff like that, and that's just a different situation. you have to take it case by case. >> meg, i'm sure if nick had a chance he would hit that digital delete button. nick is 8, so the california law does not apply to him.
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but that brings another question. should these laws get traction, should these laws apply to adults. >> 18 is a fine number. i have to be honest, nick, i want you to be held accountable for those jokes for a certain amount of time. maybe in some amount of time that's when i would reconsider all right, do you still stand by this? is this still a valid representation of who you are. you're saying it's not now, but i think ramifications for jokes like that need to exist. also, i like a right to be forgotten that actually doctor forgetting which requires time. it requires a show that there has been some kind of change. something is different. we don't forget people who continually offend. >> would you advocate different standards for
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eraser for call thes than kids? >> i would. >> our community has been tweeting about this all day. we have charean, teaching them what to post online is much smatter, safer and better than a delete button. it receives that their private and personal events should not always be shared online. sadly for kids common sense is not a school course mandate. one more, jacob on facebook, if they were raised to understand that their action versus consequences nothing more needs to be done. no more legislation. i want to go to you, emma, this is a huge concern for our community. will this option kids to learn about accountability and responsibility? >> i think there are a lot of questions that come up when you look at trying to put a privacy law just on minors. i think the idea of teaching kids what is smart to post online, what are the potential consequences of what they're posting online is going to stand
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them in much better stead as they grow and go from being 16-year-old or 17-year-old covered by these laws to a 18-year-old and 19-year-old on college campus and still figuring out where and how they want to express themselves online. these are the kinds of laws, whether it's an eraser button or full set of privacy protections it's really setting kids up for a fall if you give them a lot of protection but only until they're 18, and suddenly legally responsible for everything else they do. >> in some of the tweets waj was reading do you think there should be mandatory education for kids so she really understand what they're getting in to when they're online? >> i actually think that's a great idea. some people are initiated in the ways of the web. it would be great to have some guidelines and a few stops to look to chart it. i'm not convinced that people will look at kids being dumb
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online and see it as so different from kids being dumb off line. maybe as the internet penetrates our lives more and more, we'll have a sense of that's what kids do, and that's fine. >> meg, how does this compare to some of the legislation that is proposed in the e.u. right now? >> the update to the data protection regulation or the data protection directive '95 includes a right to be forgotten regardless of age. they talked about the data controller being obligated by the data subject upon request to delete information that identifies the data subject. the way it is written it is not restricted to things that you post, that you can take down. it reaches information that is about you, posted by others. >> so if you posted something
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unsavory about me, and i'm in the e.u. i could pull it down? >> that is handled with exceptions. that seems absurd. they have these exceptions but they're very broad. a data controller can keep things for historical and statistical reasons which really no one knows what that means. freedom of expression. arguebly this covers everything, and arguebly the exceptions cover everything. so we're really not sure what it means. >> before we leave i want to get some tweets in.
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>> before we head to break i want to thank nick for sharing his story. coming up, there are big bucks behind kids going online. as you may have guessed. we'll get into who is profiting after the break. but first here are a few other stories we're following. ♪ ♪
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♪ >> welcome back. we're talking about the rights of kids online and whether there should be sweeping legislation that allows kids un18 to delete their digital past. joy, digital information is valuable, and i imagine there are a lot of businesses out there lobbying against these
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proposed eraser laws. >> yes, there are. i mean, there are a lot of groups who built their entire business model on tracking and constantly collecting the digital information of everybody whether it would be teens or adults. and a lot of hiscal groups like axion data logic collecting information off line are getting into the online business as well. it's quite a lucrative business combining that online and off line information. >> what kind of impact would laws like california's have a business? >> well, that's an interesting question, and i think it sort of--it sort is confusing a little bit. the laws that allow one or two teens who have an embarrassing moment and want to take down information that they find to be
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injurious to their reputation. and companies collect tracking and collection happen without users knowing that's what is going on. it's from web searches, browsing and so companies have access to what people directly post. and most of what people post they want it out there. and there would be just a few incidences that people would want to take down. i don't think this would your groups in a major way. >> digital deletes for all. dixie says because again the minors when they're younger is not who they will become. she's for the bill. >> it's important for parents and kids to have the conversation not only on what this california law protects them for but also on what is appropriate and what is inappropriate, and what can come and haunt them later of what is posted online. have the conversation, and be protected.
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>> all right, emma, what is going to be the consequences of this piecemeal legislation. borderless global platform. >> right now we have just california having an eraser button for kids under 18. but we've seen in the past couple of weeks a federal bill that, the do in the track kids act. one of the precisions is an eraser button. it would only cover information about kids under 16. it would apply to any user but only for under 16. you can see how laws are coming to a different solution for how to tackle this problem. if we see more states take up these laws, if we see states setting different age limits or the federal law coming into conflict with age limits set by states you're going to end up in a mishmash of protections where
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users aren't going to understand when their privacy is being protected and when it isn't. >> not at all referring to congressman ed markey with my next question, beau do you have concerns about the complexity of these issues and not so technically savvy people in the legislature making these types of laws? >> well, i definitely think that technical experts and human rights advocates and people who work at actually creating the technology that would be regulated have to be involved in the development of any kind of comprehensive privacy protection. it's just not something that you're typical congress person is going to be exert in no matter how hard their staff try to bone up on the issues. you reneed to have the people understand what is the impact of users, the impact of people who innovate and create new services, and you need to bring all of them to the table to discuss and debate what the
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outlines of a prett real privacy law looks like. >> i'm so glad that i grew up in the pre-technical age. kids need to be careful. what is your response? >> i think that social media has give kids this great--especially--i'm from a rural area, social media is huge for kids. they get this great feedback from a larger community from the one they're geographically restricted to. huge benefits of developing identity from adolescents that are healthy, productive, diverse, and i want kids to continue to enjoy the benefits of social media. sometimes that's going to mean testing and crossing lines and making mistakes and receiving that need back from the community that says that's not okay. do you see why that's not okay? so i'm not in favor of this idea that we need to scare kids and
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you need to educate them about exactly what they can put onli online, exactly what is going to be judge appropriately by their future bosses, and that's how they can engage in social media. >> what do you think americans should be looking at towards comprehensive policy on this issue? >> i think what you need to see is a bill at the federal level that would cover all users regardless of what state they live in, regardless of what age they are, and extended fair information practice principle that has been discussed in the privacy circles for the last couple of decades things like limiting retention of data, limiting the use of data, figuring out what are the real bedrock principles that we need to protect people's privacy. >> thank for all of our guests. great discussion. until our next show waj and i check check
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welcome to al jazeera america. i'm stephanie sy. here are the top stories we are following at this hour - the mid-atlantic and north-east are getting hit by an early dose of wintser weather. thousands of flights have been cancelled and drivers are facing terrible conditions. >> defense secretary chuck hagel has arrived in pakistan and plans to discuss security threats with the prime minister. he met with troops in afghanistan and spoke with bahrain about keeping soldiers in the re


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